Little sanctuary housed three congregations

The church building that stands on the corner of Wilcox and Bell Street just south of the Rockdale VFD Fire Station can be described as a historic landmark for the place of worship of three different denominations.

The church was built by the Peace Lutheran Church in 1909. German immigrants to this area built a small white frame church building in 1883 that was located in the Bushdale community along FM 908.

If you look closely as you drive out FM 908, northwest from Rockdale, a portion of that original structure is still visible along a fence line between mesquite trees in the pasture.

In 1909, the congregation of Peace Lutheran decided to move to the City of Rockdale.

They constructed the church building located on the corner of Wilcox and Bell streets and remained there until in August 1939.

Then the congregation purchased the large two-story Presbyterian church that stood at the corner of San Gabriel and Davilla Streets.

In 1940 the Church of Christ purchased the church building at the corner of Bell and Wilcox .

At that time, the church exterior was clad with its original wooden white siding. It did not have air conditioning, thus, in the summer with open windows, beautiful hymns sung by the congregation could be heard throughout that neighborhood.

This congregation remained at this location until August 1955 when constructed a new building on Murray Street. The old building to H. H. Coffield. On September 24, 1955, Coffield sold the little church building to Grace Lutheran Church.

In a voter's meeting it was decided that all the men of the congregation would sign the note to finance the building. In 1957, the building was remodeled and an Educational Building was added to the back end of the structure. In 1965 the outside and the altar area were covered with Perma Stone.

The interior was paneled, new ceiling, new carpet, new light fixtures were installed and the old windows were replaced with new stained glass windows.

The men of Grace Lutheran provided all the renovations to this church as much as possible.

The church building of 1909 still serves its original purpose. It has had three different denominations each of which have taken good care of the structure built to be a house of worship.

Research: History from: Peace Lutheran Church archives & Grace Lutheran Church Archives.

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